Synopses & Reviews
The long-awaited second volume of the first-ever English-language study of the Red Army Faction (RAF)—West Germanys most notorious urban guerillas—covers the period immediately following the organizations near total decimation in 1977. During this period, the RAF was in a state of regrouping and attempting to renew its ties to the radical left in response to the emergence of a new radical youth movement in the Federal Republic, the Autonomen. This reorganization was evidenced by the shifting of focus from freeing prisoners to fighting NATO. By examining communiqués and texts from 1978 up until the 1982 May Paper, the broader movement is examined and the possibilities and perils of an armed underground organization are contrasted to the more fluid and flexible practice of the revolutionary cells at that time. The history of the 2nd of June Movement (2JM), an eclectic guerilla group with its roots in West Berlin, is also evaluated, especially in light of the split that led to some 2JM members officially disbanding the organization and rallying to the RAF. Finally, the RAFs relationship to the East German Stasi is examined, as is the abortive attempt by West Germanys liberal intelligentsia to defuse the armed struggle during Gerhard Baums tenure as Minister of the Interior. Dancing with Imperialism will be required reading for students of the first world guerilla, those with interest in the history of European protest movements, and all who wish to understand the challenges of revolutionary struggle.
"This collection is not simply a documentary of the West German revolutionary . . . it is more important for the insights it provides into the challenges, obstacles, and opportunities of waging armed struggle within the context of a wealthy, well-resourced, Western capitalist state . . . In our own context, it is likely that future conditions of radical social change, and certainly revolutionary struggles, will more closely approximate those engaged by the RAF in 1970s West Germany than the much more influential examples of Russia in 1917 or Spain in 1936." —Jeff Shantz, author, Upping the Anti
About the Author
André Moncourt is the pseudonym of a writer with his political roots in the movements of the 1970s and 1980s. Along with J. Smith, he coedited The Red Army Faction, A Documentary History, Volume I: Projectiles for the People, and coauthored Daring to Struggle, Failing to Win. J. Smith is the pseudonym of an activist who has been involved in the radical left for more than 20 years. They both live in Montreal. Ward Churchill is a prolific writer and lecturer, having authored, coauthored, or edited more than 20 books. He is a former member of the leadership council of Colorado American Indian Movement (AIM). He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.